Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, July 31, 2015


Between all of the "awesome" and "mates" delivered in his great Australian accent, Brad Craddock has a lot to say, a fun story to tell.

The 2014 Lou Groza Award winner was a popular personality Thursday at Big Ten media days – even as the lone kicker and one of just two specialists among the 42 players invited to the two-day event in Chicago.


Craddock was born and raised in Australia, and he learned how to kick playing, you guessed it, Australian rules football.

"Over here, people grow up throwing the ball," Craddock said. "We grow up kicking it."

His father, Raymond, taught him how to kick at a young age. Craddock worked at the craft and experienced great success, to the point that he was rated as the top Australian kicking prospect in the class of 2012 by Chris Sailer kicking.

Boston College, Texas Tech and others were interested in Craddock, however he tells a self-deprecating story about how he ended up at Maryland, where he is an agricultural and resource economics major.

"Very short version," Craddock said, "I sent film to every school, and they replied."

Since arriving in College Park, Craddock has rewritten the Maryland record book, currently ranking as the program's all-time leader in field goal percentage at 81.7 percent (49-60). He missed just one of his 19 field goal attempts last season.

The senior attributes much of his success to the work he does with Matt Stover, who spent 19 seasons as a kicker in the NFL, including 13 with the Baltimore Ravens.

"I'm raw," Craddock remembers telling Stover when they first met, before continuing, "start me from the bottom and build me up."

He's been built up, all right.

But no matter how much success he has on the gridiron, his family and friends back home keep him humble.

His mother still doesn't understand the game that comes so easy to Craddock; his friends are always good for a quick reality check.

"Every time I do something good, they send me video of me getting drilled (in a game)," Craddock said.


The first thing I check on my phone when I wake up is… Facetime

The one meal/snack I must eat on gameday is… Pasta

My favorite flavor sports drink on the sideline is…. Water

If football had "at-bat" songs, my song would be… I Come from a Land Down Under

The last show I binge watched was… House of Cards

My least favorite exercise in the weight room is… Running

The first poster I had on my bedroom wall was… Random huge wave with a surfer